One day after Trump praise, White House condemns Capitol mob

The statement calling for unity was notably not delivered by the US president but by his spokeswoman.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany arrives to face reporters a day after supporters of US President Donald Trump occupied the US Capitol, at a news briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, January 7, 2021 [Joshua Roberts/Reuters]

The White House has condemned the pro-Donald Trump mob that ransacked the US Capitol, 24 hours after Trump told the rioters he loved them.

In the first comments from the White House since an overnight statement from the president, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany read a two-minute statement to reporters “on behalf of the entire White House”.

“The violence we saw yesterday in our nation’s capital was appalling, reprehensible and antithetical to the American way. We condemn it – the president and this administration – in the strongest possible terms,” she said.

“It is unacceptable and those that broke the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“What we saw yesterday was a group of violent rioters undermining the First Amendment rights of thousands,” McEnany continued.

“Those who besieged the Capitol are the opposite of everything this administration stands for.”

“Those who are working in this building, are working to ensure an orderly transition of power. Now, it is time for America to unite.”

The remarks from the press secretary were notable in that they were not delivered by the president, that the condemnation came more than 24 hours after the siege began and they came a day after Trump had praised the rioters.

Trump has not been spoken live since his remarks to a rally that took place before the riot where he inflamed his supporters prior to their march to the Capitol. He did release a video Wednesday afternoon more than two hours into the siege, telling the rioters, “We love you. You are very special. … Go home and go home in peace.”

Overnight, in a tweet sent from Trump aide Dan Scavino, Trump said, “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th”.

Source: Al Jazeera